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John (Jack) De Gruchy (1862–1946)

from Labor Call

By the death of Mr. Jack De Gruchy, who died on Tuesday, February 6, at the age of 84 years, the Labor Movement loses still another of its staunchest adherents. 

Mr. De Gruchy held the record length of membership of 64 years in the Sheet Metal Workers' Union, having joined the organisation when he was 20 years of age. He joined in the days when it was unpopular to be a unionist and was part-time secretary when there were only a few unionists in the trade. In 1918, he was elected to full-time secretary of the Victorian branch, a position he held until 1934, when he retired at the age of 72 years.

He was one of the members who helped to bring about the unions federation and was elected first Federal Secretary of the Sheet Metal Workers' Industrial Union of Australia in 1911 and held that position for many years. He held various official positions in the industrial movement.

In his younger days he was a first-class athlete, and also played for Williamstown Football Club. He was sports secretary and official starter for events held on Eight Hours' Day—then the movement's greatest day.

He maintained his keen interest in all branches of the movement's activities to the last and paid regular visits to the union office after his retirement from active service. Some twelve months' back he was injured in a car accident which kept him in bed for several weeks, and from which he did not quite recover. The end when it came was peaceful and he passed away in his sleep.

Jack De Gruchy's record was a proud one and his efforts on behalf of his fellow workers in the struggle for the betterment of the working class individually and as a whole were unceasing and untiring.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for John (Jack) De Gruchy

Additional Resources

  • photo, Tocsin (Melbourne), 18 April 1901, p 5
  • profile, Labor Call (Melbourne), 21 December 1922, p 4
  • tributes, Labor Call (Melbourne, Vic), 14 February 1946, p 1

Citation details

'De Gruchy, John (Jack) (1862–1946)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Jack de Gruchy, 1914

Jack de Gruchy, 1914

Labor Call (Melbourne), 23 April 1914, p 6

Life Summary [details]


Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


5 February, 1946 (aged ~ 84)
Malvern, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations